Unexpected Death of High Park Zoo Bison Leads to Investigation

'Alberta' died suddenly and unexpectedly

High Park Zoo is investigating the “unexpected death” of a 17-year-old bison named Alberta, who died suddenly on Saturday.

The zoo was temporarily shut down after a first-time visitor found Alberta lying dead in its pen, according to The Star. “The bison’s legs were sticking straight out, very abnormally” Chantrey Casey said.”Its body didn’t look limp, it looked stiff.”

Staff were only alerted to the bison’s death after Casey reported it to 311. The zoo was closed down for the night, but reopened Sunday.

City officials will be looking into the sudden death, as they wrote in a statement that the animal had “no recent history of illness.” But according to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation spokesperson Matthew Cutler, Alberta had been “lethargic” in the days preceding her death.

Alberta’s death has once again sparked outrage online, some Torontonians calling for the closure of the park altogether. High Park Zoo has been in and out of headlines in recent past, most notably last year when two Capybara’s escaped from the zoo.